ESEE-5 Review
A take-no-prisoners knife designed for serious survival. Extra weighty and beefy. Probably too much knife for most people.

Are you ready to go full beast mode? Do want a blade that can bust through the thickest of the thick? The ESEE 5 is the knife reserved for the bushman who’s serious about getting stuff done in the bush. I’m talking about falling branches with only a few strokes. I’m talking about a knife capable of prying the door off a TANK.  The ESEE 5 is an absolute BRUTE of a knife.

Real talk – the ESEE-5 was designed as a downed pilots survival knife. Everything from the thick blade to the glass breaker is designed to get you out of a downed aircraft and assist your journey out from behind enemy lines. Escape and evasion is the name of the game. The ESEE-5 is not a carvers knife. It is not an everyday carry knife. It’s a full blown survival knife.

Specifications

Blade TypeFixed
Blade Length5.25 inches
Total Length10.88 inches
Blade Thickness0.25 inches
Blade Material1095 steel / Sabre grind
Weight16 oz
TangFull
Sheath IncludedYes

The blade

esse-5-blade

1095 carbon steel blade with a sabre grind and textured with a black powder coating. This type of steel is slightly prone to rust. No big deal if you keep up on the maintenance. The blade is nice and thick – quite shockingly thick actually.

The handle

esse-5-handle

Canvas Micarta with glass breaker pommel and pre-drilled bow drill.

The sheath

esse-5-sheath

The best in the business. One of the few sheaths that actually lock the blade in place. The sheath comes with a tech lock that secures and releases the blade. Very nice stuff.

First impressions

now-thats-a-knife

Seriously, when I pulled it out of the box I could tell right away the ESEE 5 wasn’t messing around. It’s weightiness communicated that I was about to do some serious damage in the woods. My first instinct was to bushwhack through the bamboo separator barricading my girlfriends kitchen from her living room – but I restrained myself. Instead, I took the knife out into the bush – the only place I can cut stuff up while looking like a complete lunatic.

Enough with the waffling. How does the ESSE-5 really stack up in the woods?

ESSE-5 performance

The ESSE-5 slices through just about anything you want. It sinks deep into wood with very little effort on your part. This is largely due to the sheer weight of the ESSE-5. Despite the thick blade I found the ESSE-5 sharpened up quite nicely – sharp enough to even create fine feather sticks. Granted, you won’t be doing any fine carving with this knife. It’s very much a Rambo type blade designed for brute force work in the bush. I noticed with little effort you can get a lot of work done in terms of processing firewood.

Making feathersticks – Can the ESEE-5 make a proper feather stick? The carbon steel blade does allow for a sharp edge – and yes, you can make feather sticks. The thing is, it’s not going to be as easy as with a Mora knife or a thinner blade – the ESEE-5 is a raw survival knife. It excels in doing a lot of things with decent competency.

esse-5-feather-sticks

Batoning wood – Can the ESEE-5 baton wood? Does Bigfoot shit in the woods? You can beat the crap out of this thing all you want and its still going to come back for more. I came down hard over the top spine with a force that would shatter a lesser blade. You couldn’t damage this blade if you wanted to. The thickness allows for easy prying. I’m too scared to pry with other blades. Not with the ESEE-5. It batons through wood like nobody’s business.

Notable considerations

  • This is a big knife.
  • Think survival or bush knife. This is not an everyday use-around-the-house knife.
  • The handle is big. I have medium sized hands and while I can swing it, it’s certainly a lot to handle.
  • You’re going to have trouble manipulating the ESEE-5 if you have smaller hands.
  • The sheath is the best sheath to ever come stock with a knife
  • The glass breaker on the pommel is awesome. One day I will test it out.

Final thoughts

I can’t say I recommend the ESEE-5 to everyone. If you spend a lot of time in the bush, have large hands, and process a lot of firewood the ESEE-5 will make a great companion. The weight and size of this knife is something to consider especially if you value lightweight gear. I mean, the knife is a whole pound. The sheath is second to none. Hands down the best sheath that has ever came with a knife. I would buy this knife just for the sheath.

Look, if you’re going into the bush to kick some ass and take some names purchase this knife right now. This is an indestructible knife and will serve your journey well.

 

 

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